So, you love to travel, but you’re also a vegan. You probably already know how difficult that can be, with few places in the world that can accommodate your special dietary needs. Vegan living is taking over everything, and the travel industry is no exception. Hotels and other vacation accommodations are working hard to meet travellers’ compassionate expectations. With World Vegan Day on November 1, we pay an ode to destinations that understand the importance of veganism with ‘mac-no-cheese’, meatless BBQ and soy/almond milk.
To help you plan your next vegan vacation, we’re listing the best vegan destinations around the world. Where to next?
Tel Aviv, Israel
Don’t be surprised if a middle-eastern destination pops up while looking for vegan-friendly vacation destinations. Tel Aviv in Israel is a favourable holiday spot where vegans can gorge on delicacies made from 100 percent organic ingredients. Visit areas around Florentin, King George, and Dizengoff Street to find vegan eateries. From burgers, pizzas and sandwiches to kebabs, you can pick your favorites – they all are made up of soy, mushrooms, and other organic produce. Make it a point to try delicious shawarmas made from seitan and lip smacking stews.
With thirteen 100% vegan restaurants and as a hub for tourists and digital nomads, Ubud is very vegan-friendly. Since it’s in the tropical paradise of Bali, you can of course find tropical fruit galore, as well as a variety of vegan-friendly restaurants and the Bali Vegan Festival. Fans of Eat Pray Love will find a lot to love about the vegetarian dining scene in Bali. As it attracts yogis and spiritual seekers searching for their bliss, restaurants are popping up to cater to their tastes. Try the raw vegan tacos with fermented tofu cheese at Divine Earth, a vegan crepe at Earth Cafe and Market or design your own smoothie bowl at Alchemy. Ubud, in particular, has a number of options for meatless meals. One must-try spot is Fivelements’ Sakti Dining Room, a bamboo made restaurant that can be found inside one of Bali’s most blissful wellness retreats. With its open air concept, you can take in the amazing views while sampling some wonderfully prepared vegan fare. Try the 5 Course Gourmet Chef’s Tasting course to see the full range of the kitchen’s skill.
Being a coastal country, this one’s surely a sea food lover’s paradise. But Sri Lanka has recently started gaining prominence with vegans too. A big amount of the nation’s favourite dishes are meatless. Curries made with vegetables, rottys (bread), hoppers, string hoppers and more. It is also a veritable cornucopia of fruits, and the variety available will make your head spin. Try Jeewa’s Polos for some down home cooking in humble market surroundings. The roti is excellent and the dizzying array of curries will leave your mouth burning and your stomach craving more.
Located in Eastern Europe, Budapest is one of those cities that come with many expectations. The one aspect, however, that will catch you unawares is the availability of plant-based food. The capital of Hungary is super popular among backpackers, thanks to its cheap bars, rich history, and pretty architecture. It’s also a hot spot for vegan food, with plenty of variety on offer. Whether you’re interested in traditional Hungarian cuisine (which is normally meat-heavy), or want to savour more modern flare, you won’t leave hungry. Head to Napfényes Étterem for some traditional töltött káposzta, which is stuffed cabbage. There’s a vegan pasta bar, a vegan pizza parlour, a vegan restaurant serving Hungarian specialities and even a vegan pub to explore in Budapest.
Berlin – the capital city of Germany boasts of a lot of vegan-friendly cafes, bars, and restaurants that offer gluten free vegan food. Head to Helmholtzplatz or Neukolln to explore the best of organic preparations. Grab a steaming cuppa soup, a platter of salad and gluten free bread, and spreads & smoothies for a healthy meal. The diverse brunch menus of these eateries heavily rely on the green salad, juice, and products made from plant milk. There are meat-free kebabs available too.
New York City
The Big Apple is one of the most vegan-friendly cities in the world. Plan a kickass vegan-friendly vacation in the suburbs of New York. Indeed a paradise for vegans, New York has moved far accepting the idea of veganism and makes for a perfect spot to plan a vacation. Vegetarian dumplings, tofu, bean curd, veggie burgers, faux meat wraps, and bubble tea are some of the top delights of the vegans residing in or traveling to New York. Not only is it packed with meat-free and plant-based restaurants, but many of its non-vegan restaurant menus are also plating up plant-based options.
Lisbon’s booming culinary scenesters are not afraid to take risks, and that is great news for vegans travelling in this beautiful country. Some of the best restaurants in the city are adding vegan options to their menu, and new restaurants are popping up across the city. One that’s gotten a lot of raves is PSI, whose global fusion vegan concoctions are winning converts with every plate served. Try the vegan cheese platter to start with and see how amazing vegan food can be.
Our very own Chennai was recently crowned India’s most vegan-friendly city by PETA. Which is why, vegan travellers will have no problems finding mind-blowing meals in even the most provincial towns of Chennai. One of the tastiest ways to start your day, the hearty dosa is usually vegetarian and very delicious. For people looking to sample a wide variety of flavours, the ubiquitous thali is a great place to start. A platter of various spicy curries, this affordable option comes with the best.
With a history steeped in Buddhism, you know Kyoto has to have some amazing vegetarian options. Local specialities like tofu and kyo-yasai are vegetarian, and the area is rich with vegetable farms. Shojin ryori, known as the meal of the monks, is a culinary highlight of any trip to the ancient capital. For a more modern take on vegetarian food, try Biotei, a hole-in-the-wall in the centre of the city which offers a full vegetarian choice for local conscious eaters. Locally sourced and organic, this is a meal to remember.
Written by: Aashima Kadakia
Creative ninja and a true follower of ‘Work, Save, Travel, Repeat’, I love to travel, experience places and bring back stories for a lifetime. Born and brought up in Ahmedabad, I like to visit the same old places, the same cliched tourist spots and destinations, but choose to see the unexplored in the old places. Always inclined towards the mighty mountains in their debate with the beaches!